PROCEDURES INVOLVED IN THE PRODUCTION OF SHELLAC RECORDS ARE SHOWN IN DETAIL, INCLUDING THE MAKING OF THE ORIGINAL MASTER PLATE, THE MOTHER PLATE & STAMPERS. NEXT THE PROCESSES OF PRESSING RECORDS ARE ILLUSTRATED. MUSIC - "THE BLUE DANUBE"-STRAUSS
MUSIC STRAUSS BLUE DANUBE PHONOGRAPH RECORDS FACTORIES MECHANICS COMMUNICATION MEDIA RECORDING DISKS SHELLAC INDUSTRY
Subject: Mystery conductor
Subject: progress never sleeps
Subject: Other ingredients beside Shellac?
Subject: making records
Also interesting to see how master and mother discs were made. However when the narrator started to talk about mixing the shellac and resin - well, I was disapointed not to find out about the other 18 ingredients!
Subject: Pressings-an added note
Yes, it's amazing of no catalog numbering being shown on the pressings.
Unfortunately, Nat Shilkret does not have any part in this movie. He was still on the RCA Victor payroll at this time, but he is not the conductor of the recording session pictured here. And neither is this movie listed in the appendix of his autobiography (Nat Shilkret: Sixty Years In The Music Business) as one of his many soundtracks.
If you look closely, there is no microphone in the shot of the orchestra. The cinematographer did take some license here.
Subject: "Command Performance" is excellent
Subject: That's What I Always Call It, A Record Made
Subject: RCA Making of a record
Nathaniel 'Nat' Shilkret (1889-1982) was a multi-talented instrumentalist and arranger who came up through the ranks of the Sousa, Pryor, and Goldman bands. In 1919 he was named director of light music at the Victor Talking Machine Company, remaining in this job until 1935. Shilkret was responsible for booking hundreds of recording sessions involving various bands, and for recording material under his own direction that Victor's contract artists didn't care to handle: mainly waltzes, operetta melodies, and sentimental salon selections. Nat Shilkret had considerable clout at Victor, and brought it to bear on a series of Symphonic Jazz recordings made in the period 1928-1932.
Subject: Back When the Groove in Music Was Literal
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Subject: THAT'S why they all sound so bad!
The film itself is very pretentious and somewhat dull, and could have been edited by the original producer to about 7 minutes without losing any detail. The whole thing smacks of the publicity machine that was Radio Corporation of Ameria (the Microsoft of its time) and their over-the-top hyperbole and rhetoric. I lost track of how many times narrator Milton Cross intoned about the "perfect tone" and "fidelity" of the Victor records, spoken as some worker was slashing, pounding, banging, or wiping off a delicate metal platter. And as a long-time collector of 78s, I can testify that 1942 to about 1947 were indeed the very *worst* years of the industry, as far as quality control was concerned. War-time limitations of material caused Victor and every other company to produce their records with a poorer, noisier melange of shellac and other filler materials: the records of that time period were crackly, mushy, and distorted (while the Victor records of the mid-thirties were the best and cleanest 78 disks ever produced in history: their vaunted "Z" pressings are highly praised by professional record restorers.)
I watched the highly compressed mp4 version of this film and was bothered by a hideous audio tone around 6 kHz that was hard to ignore: is this in the original data? Surely not! It would be an even bigger joke if RCA Victor, praising their own audio products, added a spurious and ear-piercing high frequency tone to the soundtrack!
The low resolution of the video, as seen on my Quick Time player, made it impossible for me to clearly read the label of the record that was shown in production. Nor could I identify the face of the musical conductor, who leads a horrible, syrupy, and clumsy performance of Strauss's "Blue Danube" (which is repeatedly interminably throughout the film, sounding worse each time.) It looked as though the conductor was a Stokowski-wannabe, but the players read through the music in a perfunctory, crude manner that the great Leopold would never have tolerated...
Despite my snotty remarks, the entire things was loads of fun for me, an old "high school projectionist" in my youth, and recalled the innumerable promotional films that I ran for my fellow students, nearly fifty years ago.
8H Haggis - retired audio engineer
Subject: Oh those wonderful records
Subject: Very cool, and the Analogue vs. Digital debate
And yes, I agree that the purest form of analogue is more accurate than anything digital can produce. But the only form of analogue that pure is straight from the sound to your ear, with no equipment in between at all. What some people hear as "Warmth" in analogue tapes is actually controlled distortion and EQ that the tape inherently adds to the sound. Vinyl is more accurate, but digital is getting good enough now (what with 32-bit recordings at 96khz or more) that the approximation of the sound is nearly indistinguishable from the sound itself.
And with that statement, I declare myself open to vicious flaming.
Subject: So, THAT'S how it's done!
Subject: the MUST seen for all vinyl-holics
Subject: And you thought Compact Discs were hi-tech?